Apr 24, 2006
Speaking to an automotive conference in Detroit, Bob King, the UAW’s vice president for organizing, said: “We have made a conscious choice to put aside the adversarial approach. We believe adversarial relationships drive manufacturing jobs out of the country.”
How would the top UAW leadership know? It’s been close to 22 years since the UAW carried out a strike that shut down an entire auto company. And in militant strikes like Caterpillar in 1992 and Accuride in 1998, the top UAW leadership attacked the strikers at critical junctures – cutting off strike pay, decertifying union locals, and other dirty tricks. They left the strikers to twist in the wind, helping the companies to defeat them thoroughly.
Some locals have been willing to fight. But top UAW leadership has not had an adversarial approach for decades. And what has been the result of their NON-adversarial approach? The loss of two thirds of UAW represented jobs since 1979!
Workers can’t keep their jobs – or their wages and benefits – if they don’t fight for them.